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6 quick questions with Kayla Houlihan, Founder of Tribe Skincare (Part 2)

by Female Startup Club
March 29th 2023

This is Kayla Houlihan for Female Startup Club

Hi hello!!! It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl popping into your ears from Sydney Australia. If you’re new to the show - welcome - eve... More

Welcome back. Here are the six quick questions. So question number one is, what's your why? Why are you waking up every day and working on Tribe and a new brand? The why for Tribe skincare was really just creating that solution for skincare for sensitive skin that actually gets people results. And then I guess that why is reinforced every single day when we have amazing customer reviews and results and testimonials and people really telling us about their journey with their skin and how the brand has helped them. Love that question # 2 is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? Favorite marketing moment? Oh I I I just have to say working with Brittany Saunders even though I've said it, I just think that's really that one standout piece of marketing or marketing channel that we've had in the five years of the business that really just blew my mind with the results that came from it. Um I guess any marketing, yeah, you look at the results that came out how kind of impactful or memorable it was and um that was really the most memorable, so good.

Holy Moly and it's like forever onwards from there. You're trying to chase the same kind of R O I on a marketing campaign. It sets the precedent. I've just given up on it. I was like, I can't, you can't, yeah, you can't just always think like back to the good old days or what works for you back then. Like even thinking, OK, this is how we used to grow the Instagram account or whatever. I just can't think about it. Now, I'm like, it's a different time and a different place and you've just got to always be on to the next thing. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Question number three is, what's your go to business resource? If you are subscribing to a newsletter or you're reading a book or you're listening to a podcast, my go to business resource is definitely podcasts right from the beginning. Um That's something I've consistently done over the five years is listen to other founders journeys. I just get so much out of it just listening to the different things that have worked for them and the different struggles that they've had. Um I think, yeah, just hearing the stories and journeys of brands can really inspire your own story.

And um also just make you feel less alone really in business because a lot of the time you think the things you're going through are very unique. But then when you start listening to podcasts and stories from other founders, you're like, oh no, everyone goes through that. It's very normal. Yeah, there's many ups and downs. Do you have any recommendations for the audience? Well, of course, I've got to recommend to your podcast, but they're already listening to that. Um, I've always listened to lady brains right from the beginning, that podcast actually started up around the same time as I started my business. So I think I've like consistently listened to every, to every single episode throughout the journey. Um and Mamma Mia do a really good one lady start up as well that um really similar, I guess that it's telling the whole journey from the beginning, really just as a story and then it's so engaging to listen to you just listening to a story of how someone started up their journey. But just with so many little amazing pieces of advice throughout. Yes, I agree.

I love the gems that you get in a podcast that sometimes you don't get in a book or a newsletter. You've got to hear it in conversation. Yeah. And founders just don't have time to read 100%. I mean, I'm sure they do, but sometimes if you are reading or doing something, you want to do it for pleasure rather than it being more work that you're doing outside of work hours when you're supposed to be relaxing. Whereas I find when I'm listening to podcasts, it's still nice and relaxing and it doesn't feel like I'm doing work even though my mind's probably going a million miles an hour thinking about work while I'm doing it. Yeah, I feel exactly the same. I really read now for pleasure. And I really, I love to read and I love to just be immersed in a book, but it's, it's not a business book that I'm reading. I need a story. Yeah. Question number four is, how do you win the day? What are your AM or PM? Rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? Ok. Well, bad timing because at the moment I'm going through my very burnt out busy founder stage and I'm not winning the day, but usually I win the day by um being very, very strict on my business hours.

And this is something I didn't do at the start when I was um just starting up the business, a new founder. I was just working around the clock all the time. Whereas now I'm, I work from eight AM till four PM Monday to Thursday. And then that's just very strictly my hours. So if something doesn't fit within those hours, I just can't do it because I just found work was always creeping into my life. So it's nice to um I guess now that I've got a workplace as well because we've got the office and warehouse. It's different to when I was working from home. But I think it's really important to have those boundaries and really strict work hours. So then you essentially just feel like you have a job rather than feeling like you've got the pressure of growing this entire company on your hand. Mhm. 100%. I love that. It's so important to be strict with those kind of boundaries. Is your team also on a four day work week. No, so they're five days. Um But even in terms of boundaries, I'm very strict with them too. Like if we finish at four PM, we're all out the door at four PM, packed up, ready to go.

If anyone's there at like two past four, we're like, what are you doing? Do you need help with something? Like it's, I just think like you really need that division between work and life and your work really expands and contracts. I know there's some theory about like, you know, work or whatever you're doing, fitting into the space that you give it. But I really do believe that, that your work will expand and contract. And if you work 12 hours, seven days a week, you'll find something to do for that entire time. Whereas if you only work for your um sort of eight till 44 days a week or when I do that, I just have to basically fit my work into that time. So then other things that come up, I'm not necessarily saying yes to every single opportunity that comes up, but I'm really having to prioritize what's gonna fit within that time so I can have that work life balance. Yeah, I love that, but at the moment I'm being really naughty and I've been on my computer at night so I'm definitely not perfect at it. Yeah, it's a work in progress. I was really good at it for a time, but at the moment not so good.

Yeah, I know that feeling. Question # 5 is what has been the worst money mistake you've made and how much did it cost you? Oh, ok. Um Going back to really early days in the business, a big money mistake I made was I didn't trademark the business name. So this was before we were called Tribe Skincare. And the reason it was such a huge money, I mean, on the scale then it wasn't so bad. Um as it would be if I did something like that now, but I had invested into all of my packaging and product and then I received a cease and desist letter saying you've basically got 24 hours to get the brand off the market. Um So that at the time was really, really costly and a huge money mistake. Um I should have, I didn't even know what a trademark was at the time. So in hindsight to say I should have invested in the trademark. It wasn't the money that stopped me from doing it. It was like my lack of experience. But in hindsight, it would have been a lot cheaper to just pay to trademark the brand than have to redo all of your packaging and branding and website and completely change everything.

So definitely it's crazy. Yeah. Yeah. Um What was the brand called before? It was called Lifesaver Skincare? Gosh, I hate that for you, but it is what it is and no one would really know the brand of that because it would have only been on the market maybe two months when it happens like it was very early days. Um But yeah, very costly, very stressful. It was one of those real moments where I had to think, am I actually gonna keep going with this to happen so early on in the business when I wasn't really equipped to handle it and wasn't really established. So I didn't have as much to lose. But I mean, there must have been something in there driving me to keep going and to um fix it all and yeah, here I am five years later, so glad I did and here you are. Thank God. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Last question, question number six is what is just a crazy story, good or bad you can share from this journey of building tribe. I'll give you a good one. This is just like very crazy and unexpected.

But when we launched our vitamin C serum and we had this huge launch party for it and the launch was all like pretty successful. I was happy with how it went. And then that product was just like ticking along and part of the range. And then maybe like three months in, I shared my mum's before and after results because it was the first time mum had ever asked to use one of the Tribe skincare products. And it was only because her friends had started using the vitamin C and they're like this new product Kayla's released is so good. You should use it. And then, yeah, so mum got a bit of FOMO and she decided she was gonna use it and her results were phenomenal. She was trying to tell me she's like, oh, I don't really know if it works. Like it's been OK. And then I showed mum her own before and afters because I took the photos for her and she was like, oh wow, my skin really is so much better. So I shared the results across our social media and it went completely viral like all over tiktok and um people were like reposting about the results and all sort of things.

So from my mum having this viral moment, I was like, this is the last thing I expected just asking mum if I could share her results. And then she ended up being like all over everything and she was like in a few news articles and the product went crazy and sold out like three times over and we just had to constantly keep ordering it and trying to keep it in stock. So that was a very, very crazy time when my mum went viral. I love that for her. Shout out to your mum. I'm wondering why you think that specific story went viral because you share a lot of before and after photos. Is it because she's mumm demographic? So it's different than kind of like a younger crowd or like what do you think? Why do you attribute that viral moment? Yeah, I think it was well, her results were so visible because she was never using any skin care. So to go from someone in their sixties that skincare has never touched their face to then having skincare products they use for a few months, like her results were so so incredible.

And then I think it was something new for us because we repost anyone's results. But because we sort of have that millennial demographic. A lot of our before and afters are in that age bracket. So by showing mums before and afters, it opens us up to this whole new customer base and demographic of people who now are like, oh tribe skincare is something that I can use as well. Oh my God, I just love that. That is so cool. So awesome. Kayla, thank you so much for sharing all of these insights and gems into the behind the scenes of building a business. I've loved this. Oh, thank you so much for having me. That's been really fun. Hey, it's June here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the Female start-up Club podcast. If you're a fan of the show and want even more of the good stuff, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our free newsletter. We send it out weekly covering female founder, business news insights and learnings in D to C and interesting business resources.

And if you're a founder, building an e-commerce brand, you can join our private network of entrepreneurs called hype club at female startup club dot com forward slash hype club. We have guests from the show joining us for intimate, ask me any things, expert workshops and a group of totally amazing like-minded women building the future of DC brands. As always, please do subscribe, rate and review the show and post your favorite episodes to Instagram stories. I am beyond grateful when you do that.

6 quick questions with Kayla Houlihan, Founder of Tribe Skincare (Part 2)
6 quick questions with Kayla Houlihan, Founder of Tribe Skincare (Part 2)
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